Monday, September 28, 2020

Growing peas, making flour and a little stitchery for you...

We planted pigeon peas a few months ago and because they are right up the back behind Mr E's shed I kind of forgot about them. 

He'd been faithfully watering them, though realistically they are very low maintenance and can manage without much attention (or water) for long periods of time, but lately there's been so much to do around the house with repairs and such that even he neglected them for a couple of weeks. Anyhow, we missed the stage when they were green and could be eaten sweet and fresh (though we did find a handful of green pods) so our harvest on Saturday was 99% dried brown and gone to seed.

Apparently chickens love pigeon pea plants and that's why we put them in, but it turned out the chickens did not have any interest in them so that may also be why they were practically forgotten. 

Sitting with a bowl between us we began to shell our big container of peas and I remembered as a child sitting on the back step with Nana shelling peas for dinner...what a beautiful and tranquil memory. 

Don't you love it when a special memory just drops into your thoughts and for a moment you're right back in time reliving the moment and the people and the feelings? That memory spurred me on in what I did next.

Nana wasted nothing. Born in 1910 and raising a family during the Great Depression of the 1930's she used every resource she could find to feed, clothe and nourish her young children. As I pondered the stories of thrift she'd told me in my youth it occurred to me that I could possibly roast the dried peas and make a flour. So I did.

The peas were roasted in the oven on medium heat for 10 minutes, left to cool, and then using the NutriBullet grinding blade I made two cups of flour...

...which I then used to make Ginger Berry Kiss cookies.

I've made these many times using besan (chickpea) flour which is why I thought the pigeon pea flour might work - and it did! The cookies have a real nutty taste and are quite enjoyable. 

Pigeon Pea is highly nutritious, especially in folate, so pregnant Blossom came over today for a taste test and agreed they were quite yum.

Though we're not strictly gluten free we do prefer a lower gluten diet and making healthy GF flours like this is a boost to our overall immune system, digestive system and health in general (I don't use pre-packaged gluten free flours because they are so highly refined and not very healthy). Discovering a new 'flour' that we can grow and grind ourselves is rather exciting as we work at moving closer to a more sustainably self-sufficient life. 

I still have more dried pigeon peas left, apart from the ones we will plant, so the rest will be used to make dhal later in the week. There's actually a lot of pigeon pea recipes online so plenty of ideas to work with when we have our next harvest.

We had a few overcast days again which always brings more cockatoos that usual to the feeder. Not sure why, but they do love to visit under cloud cover and especially in the rain.

We do have a couple of regulars that visit every day, but it's lovely to see the yard full of these lovely white birds waiting on the clothesline, in the trees, on top of the shed, and sometimes just  standing in the garden beds eagerly watching the feeder for their chance to eat.

When the sun comes out they mostly fly off but there's always our regulars (who tend to wait in the bottle brush tree over the chicken coop) hanging around until the visitors leave and swooping down to finish what's left of the sunflower seeds. 

I've been asked a number of times (by fellow Aussies) if the birds eat our garden produce and the answer is no, never. Not once. Because they'd much rather have the seeds we put out each day they leave everything else alone, dropping by to feast from the feeder and then leaving satisfied. 

We've got loads of different herbs growing all around the garden now but most of the winter flowers are finished so it's lovely to see the seaside daisies blooming, along with a second flush from the pink and white verbenas.

The chives are also in bloom at the moment and as we have a lot of chive plants they make a very pretty display in and around other plants.

Mr E received some Bunnings gift cards for his birthday and as he's been in need of a new wheelbarrow ever since we bought the house two years ago that's exactly what he chose to buy with his gifts.

He knows I simply love old wheelbarrows which overflow with flowers or herbs so he planted spearmint and common mint in his old barrow as I make fresh mint tea every morning and sometimes have to restrain myself from picking one of my many mint plants bare. An extra two is wonderful!

For those of you who don't know much about growing mint it can't be put into the garden bed because it will take over the whole thing. Mint is very invasive so you need to grow it in pots or a specific raised bed just for mint...or as we've just done - in an old wheelbarrow. We used to live near the home of a lovely lady who had the most glorious herb garden near the front gate but then she added a mint plant. Within three months the mint was everywhere and all her other herbs had perished. I learned from her mistake.

I shared this little stitchery back in 2017 so it's been a while, but I was thinking the other day that I need to encourage you to pray a blessing over your home.

And not just over your home, but over those who dwell within it's walls and those who cross over your threshold. 

We love in uncertain times, in a year many would rather forget, so rather than sorrow, lament or be anguished by the difficulties which have been presented through 2020 let each of us come before that marvelous Throne of Grace in an attitude of humility, in adoration for a Lord who loves us and gave more than we could ever give, and ask Him to bless anew our home within it's boundary lines as well as the people who live here and those who come through our door.

May we remember every day to seek His face, to bring to mind His goodness and provision, to give thanks for all His unseen blessings on our behalf which we are never made aware of, and ask for a special blessing over home, family and loved ones, that we may have a story to tell which glorifies His name. Really, it's such a simple prayer, isn't it.

Use the link below to download this pattern.

DOWNLOAD Bless Our Home Mini Stitchery

Well, I'd best be off as I've had Blossom and the girls here this morning and my afternoon must be spent in the sewing room finishing a needlebook from one of my new designs which I'm yet to show you.

May your day be one of fresh joy, inspiration, gratitude, love shared, and hopes renewed...

loving hugs

Follow along on Instagram for daily photos and peeks, encouragement and inspiration.

Jenny of ELEFANTZ on Instagram


earthmotherwithin said...

Gorgeous photos! I love the birds too and so will try to get them used to being fed with seeds, so that they leave my grapes alone.

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
What a beautiful start to Monday and the reat of the week :)
Love old wheelbarrows in the garden ! Usually comes complete with rusted out drainage holes. And, they're super if you have to bring plants indoors for the winter ! Just wheel them in!
Thanks for the lovely stitchery :)
hugs and take care,

Joanne said...

rest of the week I mean

Little Quiltsong said...

It is always so refreshing to read your posts about your gardens and your lovely 'visitors'. Makes me smile how you take care of them. Yay - to finding a way to save these pigeon peas - in delicious baking, no less :)! Enjoy your day, Jenny!

RBrown said...

Thank you from a rainy Tennessee USA. I feel I have been blessed this morning after reading your notes. A scripture that has come to my mine recently is "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added." I want to remembeer this everyday before I make any decisions. Blessings to you.

Tammy said...

Love the wheel barow full of mint.... Mint is one of my most favorite herbs. I always enjoy all the pictures in your post. Makes me feel like a welcomed guest into you home and gardens. And thank you for sharing the beautiful stitchery design today.

Lin said...

What a good use for your peas - the cookies look delicious. I love those beautiful birds and great that they dont eat from your garden, just the feeder. xx

Patti said...

What a great idea....turning the seeds into flour! And thank you for the lovely pattern.

Jan A. said...

Thank you, Dear Jenny, for another lovely post. I especially love you writing about Nana. Bless you for generously sharing another little pattern. May the Lord shine upon you and your family.

Jan A. said...

Thank you, Dear Jenny, for another lovely post. I especially love you writing about Nana. Bless you for generously sharing another little pattern. May the Lord shine upon you and your family.

Remembrances said...

Thank you for the information on the pigeon peas! I had never heard of them and I am always looking for more heirloom plants to grow. I think they will do well here on my property but will have to wait until spring now to plant, as we do get frost and freezing nights on occasion. And I love all of your patterns as well - especially now that you share the bible-based ones. You are indeed a generous lady and I so look forward to your posts.

Phi. 4:13

terricheney said...

You are the second person I've noted in a week's time who used pigeon peas to make flour! I love finding that there are alternatives out there...

Natureluvr57 said...

Thank you for the stitchery. I have a spearmint plant but my favorite is the chocolate mint plant. I let the spearmint flower for the bees-they love it and we need to help our little pollinating friends. The plant I grew in my garden and won't anymore is chives. They started popping up all over. One was growing in the midst of my miniature yellow rose bush. I dug up the rose bush and it was like performing surgery to get the chive roots out of the rose roots. The yellow rose bush broke into several pieces with roots so I replanted it in a different area. Those bushes are growing like crazy! I think the Chive was strangling it so no more chives for me unless I try it in a pot but I don't know if seeds blew around because it came up all over the yard. I love pigeon peas but never grew them. Love the cockatoo photos. Thanks for sharing

Christine M said...

I've never heard of pigeon peas before! We have a lot of galahs, Corellas and King Parrots come to our feeder. They patiently wait in the trees for their turn to eat. Have a lovely day, Jenny. xx

Dee Dee said...

Thank you for the cute stitchery. It would make a wonderful gift during the Christmas season of giving. Also, I needed to read about the mint spreading a couple years ago. It certainly does spread like a bad weed. I am not a very good gardener. haha!

Carla Fiedler said...

Thank you for this sweet embroidery! You are very generous and an inspiration.

Susan said...

I'm running a bit behind, having spent a few days down with strep, but it was lovely to read about your pigeon peas. Those remind me of the pink lentils I sometimes buy to make pea soup, and I wonder if it is close enough to the same to make soup with some of them? I hope Blossom continues to be well, and pray for her. I know you had a lovely morning, followed by wonderful stitching, too. Thank you for the reminder of this stitchery and the home blessing.

KingsailK said...

Thank you Jenny ,I love your recipe!What a great idea!and the photos of your lovely birds!I love it all!!💞☺️

FlourishingPalms said...

What a resourceful way to make an oversight of pigeon peas into a worthwhile product - flour! I wouldn't have thought to do that, but gosh, it sounds great! I'm glad it turned out for you. Love seeing those yellow-crested cockatoos. They're the singular most identifiable bird that I associate with Australia. Parakeets are the second. Do you ever see those in your garden? It's good to know Blossom is hanging in there, and that you continue to get to see her and your granddaughters. I'm glad that the Coronavirus, and precautions around it don't seem to be affecting you.